National Hockey League action on Thursday evening and the Pacific Division will square off with the Atlantic Division as the Edmonton Oilers grapple with the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Oilers enter this game off a 5-2 loss at Tampa Bay, while the Panthers check in off a 4-2 win over the Jets over in Helsinki, Finland.
Oilers Can’t Slow Down The Lightning
The Edmonton Oilers had been playing well, but they lost to the Caps on this road trip and then followed it up with a 5-2 loss at Tampa Bay. The Lightning are a hot team at the moment, and the Oilers couldn’t cool them off. The Oilers have still won five of their last eight, and they are 8-7 on the year overall. They will now look to get back on track against a Florida team that has been one of the worst in the league in the early going. The Oilers fell behind the Bolts 2-0 after one and were never able to recover. Scoring in the loss was Ryan Strome, which was his 1st of the year and Leon Draisaitl, which was his 9th.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 7, 2018
Absorbing the loss was Mikko Koskinen, who allowed five goals on 35 shot attempts to fall to 3-1 with a 2.77 GAA on the year. Cam Talbot will be back in the crease for this one, and he has gone 5-6 with a 2.93 GSAA, and a .899 save percentage on the year, including 3-3 with a 2.86 GAA and a .899 saves percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 5-2 with a 2.70 GAA, and a .918 save percentage against the Panthers. Edmonton enters this game ranked 20th in the league in scoring at 2.93 gpg and 13th in power play conversions at 22.2%. On defense, they are 17th in goals allowed at 3.07 gpg and 26th in penalty kill at 73.5%.
Panthers Split A Pair Over In Finland
The Florida Panthers didn’t have a ton of luck winning games on American Ice this year, so they figured they try and grab some wins over in Finland, where they faced the Winnipeg Jets for a pair of games. The Panthers weren’t able to sweep the set, but they did gain a split. They lost game one by a score of 4-2 and won game two by the same score. The Panthers are currently 3-8 on the year, and their nine points are the fewest in the league. Florida trailed the Jets 2-1 after one, but the rest of the game was all Florida. Evgenii Dadonov (6th), Mike Hoffman (6th), Keith Yandle (3rd) and Frank Vatrano (4th) all scored for the Panthers in the win.
#FlaPanthers are looking forward to a jam-packed schedule in November
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) November 7, 2018
Grabbing the win was Roberto Luongo, who allowed two goals on 34 shot attempt in his first start of the year. Last year, he was 18-13 with a 2.47 GAA and a .929 save percentage on the year, including 13-5 with a 2.53 GAA and a .931 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 27-18 with a 2.30 GAA against the Oilers. The Panthers check in at 18th in the league in scoring, putting up 3.00 gpg and 16th in power play conversions at 20.0%. On defense, they are 25th in goals allowed at 3.55 gpg and 31st in penalty kill at 68.4%.
- 6-1 in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
- 19-8 in their last 27 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game
- 21-50 in their last 71 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game
- 5-15 in their last 20 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Panthers are off their trip to Helsinki and will look to string together some wins. They have Roberto Luongo back in the crease, and he gives them their best chance to win. He won his lone start this year and was 13-5 at home last year. He is a solid goalie and should be able to keep an Edmonton offense that has scored just two goals in each of their previous two games under wraps. The Florida offense has been rather average, and Cam Talbot has a 2.93 GAA on the year and a 2.86 GAA on the road. Look for the well-rested Panthers to grab a win in this one.
Prediction: Florida -130
Full-Game Total Pick
I will look for this one to go Under the total. The Panthers have Luongo back in the crease, and he played well against the Jets in his first start of the year, plus he had a 2.53 GAA here at home last year. The Oilers have struggled to score in their previous two games, and the Panthers have not been a good offensive team overall. The Under is 10-3-1 in Edmonton’s last 14 following a loss of three or more goals and 13-4-4 in Florida’s last 21 vs. a team with a winning record.
Prediction: Under 6
Half-Time Side Pick
The Panthers are off their trip to Finland and they will look to get off to a good start in front of their home crowd. The Oilers have not played well on this trip so far and I look for them to have a sluggish start. Take the Panthers in the first of this one.
Prediction: Florida -123 (First Period)
Half-Time Total Bet
I like the Under for the Game, but I see at least two goals being scoring in the first. The scoring should slow down after that. I look for the Panthers to jump out to a 2-0 lead in this game, which will also give us the Over in the first.
Prediction: Over 1.5 (First Period)